Synthesis of Apatite Ceramics with Preferential Crystal Orientation
Biological hard tissues show preferential alignment of the c-axis of biological apatite (BAp) crystallites depending on the shape and stress distribution in vivo, but apatite-base bioceramics developed for bone grafting have no preferential BAp orientation. Thus, the crystal orientation was controlled for developing novel bioceramics with apatite (Ap) texture similar to biological hard tissues. Since cortical portion in a bovine femur shows a one-dimensional orientation along the longitudinal direction of long bone, the effect of heat treatment on Ap orientation was investigated in the femur bone as a starting material. Heat treatment was performed first at 600°C for 1h to remove organic constituents and subsequently at each temperature between 700°C and 1300°C. Crystal orientation and texture of BAp were measured by the micro-beam X-ray diffractometer. Size of BAp crystallites increased remarkably after a heat treatment even at 600°C for 1h and a great amount of pore remained in the Ap ceramics in exchange for the organic constituents. Several Ap grains were surrounded as a group by the pores, but additional heat treatment in a temperature range up to 900°C reduced the number of Ap grains in the group, and finally became a single grain region at 1000°C. Pore density decreased with increasing annealing temperature, especially above 1000°C. One-dimensional preferential alignment of the c-axis in Ap maintained during all the heat treatment and the degree increased with increasing annealing temperature because a lot of low-energy low angle boundaries against the c-axis existed in the starting material and preferentially remained in the synthesized Ap ceramics. It was therefore concluded that adequate heat treatment of bovine femur can give the preferential crystal orientation in Ap ceramics.
S.-G. Kang and T. Kobayashi
T. Nakano et al., "Synthesis of Apatite Ceramics with Preferential Crystal Orientation", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 449-452, pp. 1289-1292, 2004